The author traces the phenomenon of ascribing sentimental meaning to floral imagery from its beginnings in Napoleonic France through its later transformations in England and America. At the heart of the book is a depiction of what the three most important flower books from each of the countries divulge about the period and the respective cultures. Seaton shows that the language of flowers was not a single and universally understood correlation of flowers to meanings that men and women used to communicate in matters of love and romance. The language differs from book to book, country to country. To place the language of flowers in social and literary perspective, the author examines the nineteenth-century uses of flowers in everyday life and in ceremonies and rituals and provides a brief history of floral symbolism. She also discusses the sentimental flower book, a genre especially intended for female readers. Two especially valuable features of the book are its table of correlations of flowers and their meanings from different sourcebooks and its complete bibliography of language of flower titles. This book will appeal not only to scholars in Victorian studies and women's studies but also to art historians, book collectors, museum curators, historians of horticulture, and anyone interested in nineteenth-century popular culture.
the language of flowers
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The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a moving story of hope and forgiveness, and an international bestseller. The Victorians used flowers to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. For Victoria Jones, flowers and their meanings are her only connection to the world – although for her, they are most useful in expressing feelings such as grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood in the foster care system, Victoria – now eighteen – has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes a meeting with a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realize what's been missing in her own life. As she starts to fall for him, though, she must confront a painful secret from her past – and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.
“A flower is not a flower alone; a thousand thoughts invest it.” Daffodils signal new beginnings, daisies innocence. Lilacs mean the first emotions of love, periwinkles tender recollection. Early Victorians used flowers as a way to express their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now, modern-day romantics are enjoying a resurgence of this bygone custom, and this book will share the historical, literary, and cultural significance of flowers with a whole new generation. With lavish illustrations, a dual dictionary of flora and meanings, and suggestions for creating expressive arrangements, this keepsake is the perfect compendium for everyone who has ever given or received a bouquet. From the Hardcover edition.
The author outlines the mythology of flowers in the ancient and early Christian worlds and explains their special significance for love and marriage, in customs and festivals and the use of flowers as status symbols, as symbols of the seasons of the year or as metaphors of human qualities. Thirty-five beautiful depictions of flowers taken from the Renaissance and Baroque periods are reproduced as full-page illustrations accompanied by descriptive texts which analyse their symbolism, mythological importance, use and meaning in our present times.
From the medieval 'doctrine of signatures' and the Victorian floral message system through to their symbolic use today by artists and writers, this book shows how humans and flowers have formed a special relationship with an eloquent language of its own for those times when we cannot find the words to say what is in our hearts.